- Associated Press - Sunday, August 10, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Mark and David McCubbin not only had big shoes to fill when they took over the family business, but also had large socks.

Mark is the chairman of McCubbin Hosiery Inc., and his brother, David, is the president, The Journal Record reported (https://bit.ly/1pVBObT ). The company makes socks, tights and shoes for women and children. It makes products for several brands, such as Stride Rite and Keds. The warehouse and distribution center is at 5310 N. Fifth St.

The brothers are the third generation of McCubbins in the business. Their grandfather, Chester McCubbin, started the company in 1952. Their father, Richard McCubbin, also worked at the company until he left in 1967 to teach history at Casady School. That’s when their grandmother, Margaret McCubbin, took over the business.

The brothers worked for the company during summers while they were in college. They started in the warehouse and eventually sold socks.

Mark graduated in 1978 with a history degree from Dartmouth University. David graduated in 1980 from Washington and Lee University with a degree in political science. They received degrees in fields that interested them, though they knew it was a possibility they would take over the family business.

“I decided to study what I enjoy, even if it didn’t have anything directly to do with what I do,” Mark said.

Both, however, entered the family business once they finished college.

Just four years after Mark graduated and two years after David did, their grandmother passed away, and the brothers realized they were in charge. It was overwhelming at first to realize they had so much to learn, David said. With the help of the employees, the company thrived.

At the time, the company had only about 18 full-time employees. Today, the company has about 100, with most of them being in Oklahoma City. A few are in New York and Chicago, and one stays in China, David said.

David travels frequently. He makes trips to Europe and Asia throughout the year, as well as around the country.

“American Airlines loves me,” he said jokingly.

Although the company focuses on women and children, David said by 2015 customers can expect to see more products for adults.

The company has grown 10 to 20 percent each year over the last several years, David said. He expects about 20-percent growth next year.

In 2011, the company sold $30 million in products. By the end of its fiscal year, Mark said he expects it will sell $70 million.

The growth is due to great investors and great products, David said. The brands are strong and people trust them. The companies they sell to are also a primary reason for McCubbin’s strength. Clients include Sam’s Club and Costco, as well as retailers like Nordstrom and Dillard’s.

The company produces its products in Asia, especially China, David said. The company went offshore in the 1990s, which put it ahead of its competitors. Now, most of their competitors do as well. It is cheaper to produce hosiery in China because of the cheap labor. When it comes to socks, he estimates that only a few specialty brands are actually made in the U.S.

One of the biggest challenges is making sure the product gets to the customers on time, Mark said.

“Our product is literally on the other side of the world,” he said.

McCubbin also has to meet the needs of several customers in various ways, he said.

“Every customer wants what they want, often in different ways,” Mark said. “One of the challenges is balancing the needs of the customers.”

The brothers are fortunate, David said. They get to work together and around wonderful employees.

“I have no complaints,” David said. “I’m very blessed.”

___

Information from: The Journal Record, https://www.journalrecord.com


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